Roman and Byzantine glass shards collected during excavation campaigns around the ancient city of Thugga in northern Tunisia have been characterised by means of various analytical techniques. Portable X-ray Fluorescence (pXRF) was used to determine the glass matrix elemental composition and to identify the elements responsible for the colour. Fibre optic reflectance spectroscopy (FORS) was employed to investigate the chemical nature, the oxidation state and the coordination of the chromophores. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was here exploited for characterising the outermost layers of the glasses. Elemental analyses by pXRF pointed out that Si, Fe, Al, Ca, K, Rb, Sr, Na and Mg are the main elements present in the glasses. The chromophores responsible for the different shades are Fe for the green shades, Cu and Co for the blue ones, Mn, also used as discolouring agent, for the colourless samples. In relation to the raw materials used for glass production, the comparison with control groups of samples from Northern Tunisia suggests a common provenance of sands.

Characterisation of Roman and Byzantine glasses from the surroundings of Thugga (Tunisia): Raw materials and colours

FANTAUZZI, MARZIA;ROSSI, ANTONELLA
2016

Abstract

Roman and Byzantine glass shards collected during excavation campaigns around the ancient city of Thugga in northern Tunisia have been characterised by means of various analytical techniques. Portable X-ray Fluorescence (pXRF) was used to determine the glass matrix elemental composition and to identify the elements responsible for the colour. Fibre optic reflectance spectroscopy (FORS) was employed to investigate the chemical nature, the oxidation state and the coordination of the chromophores. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was here exploited for characterising the outermost layers of the glasses. Elemental analyses by pXRF pointed out that Si, Fe, Al, Ca, K, Rb, Sr, Na and Mg are the main elements present in the glasses. The chromophores responsible for the different shades are Fe for the green shades, Cu and Co for the blue ones, Mn, also used as discolouring agent, for the colourless samples. In relation to the raw materials used for glass production, the comparison with control groups of samples from Northern Tunisia suggests a common provenance of sands.
Elemental composition; FORS; Late antique glass; PXRF; Tunisia; XPS; Analytical Chemistry; Spectroscopy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/179278
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